Category: higher education

Barking at the angel.

On the top floor of the Accademia in Florence, in an overlooked panel of a medieval altarpiece, is an image that’s easy to ignore: a shepherd’s dog, barking at the angel who’s suddenly appeared to rouse the obviously startled shepherds from their sleep. There were shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flocks […]

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“So much time to write?”: Sabbatical-ing in the pandemic (for our college magazine).

In August 2019, an alarming number clarified my mission in life. “How Much Hotter Is Your Hometown Than When You Were Born?” asked a New York Times infographic. “As the world warms because of human-induced climate change, most of us can expect to see more days when temperatures hit 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius) […]

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An Awful Rainbow: possible introduction, part 2.

Possible introduction, continued, to An Awful Rainbow: Reading the Romantics in a World on Fire. Read Part One here. *** We Frankenstein pilgrims came home to a year that only got scarier. First, there was barely-averted war with Iran. The presidential caucus – Iowa’s pride and joy – came apart in our hands.  Then the […]

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Essay on study-abroad teaching forthcoming in Engaging the Age of Jane Austen (University of Iowa Press, 2019)

I couldn’t be happier that my essay “Gain Experience!: Literature, Travel, and Life” (echoing Mary Wollstonecraft’s famous advice) is forthcoming in Engaging the Age of Jane Austen, edited by Bridget Draxler and Danielle Spratt (University of Iowa Press, 2019). I’m so grateful to Bridget and Danielle for this opportunity. In the essay, I share particular […]

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The men at the wall.

Two men in tunics and hose, their backs to me, lean on the wall of a castle balcony and look down at something happening on the other side. A slim tree leafs out elegantly to the left. They’re relaxed, intent, faces totally hidden. What’s going on down there, in this picture’s entirely private world? Framed […]

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